On the 4th of May, by the directive of President Mohammadu Buhari, all states in Nigeria except for Kano began the ease of the lockdown after 5 weeks of being indoors, with strict measures to employ on the opening of markets, banks, etc. This was done in a way to buffer the economic hit although this move came with mixed reaction as some believed it to be premature and a cause for impending doom, others think it is necessary, else Nigerians die of hunger and the economy crashes.
This post highlights the necessary precautions to take to ensure safety while we take to the streets.
It is important to know that the COVID-19 virus can be found in people showing no symptoms at all, the regular people you meet at work, in the bus or bank could be carriers.
- Face Masks: with the high cost of the medical face mask such as N95 surgical masks, and its scarcity, a high percentage of Nigerians would have to depend on the cloth face masks, therefore, it is important to bear some things in mind which are:
- Do not neglect social distancing because you are wearing a mask.
- Do not touch your face or surface of the mask when you have it on; remove and wear it touching only the elastic bands on the sides.
- Do not eat or drink through your mask.
- Do not hand the mask below your chin or by the side of your face.
- Ensure your mask adequately covers from the bridge of your nose to below your chin.
- Do not be one of those who test masks in traffic to find a fit, if possible have more than 1 mask for each day.
- If you’re using a disposable mask, please throw inside the waste bin properly, do not litter with it.
- With a cloth mask, wear one per day and ensure to properly wash with detergent immediately after use and sun-dry.
N.B: cloth face masks are not as effective as the N95 respirators or surgical masks, so please do not loose guard because you’re wearing one.
2. Social distancing: This is one of the most important factors in limiting the spread of the virus, as it spreads easily between people in close proximity, less than 2 feet or six meters apart, and more so, when they cough, sneeze or talk.
- Avoid overcrowded places or gatherings.
- Ensure you do not enter overcrowded buses or cabs.
- As much as possible, stay home except if urgent or unavoidable. Whatever can be done online please try to do without in-person visits (even banking transactions and some hospital appointments can be made via phone or video call except in an emergency).
3. Hand Hygiene: This takes the lead in limiting the spread of several communicable diseases. Ensure as often as possible to wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, where it’s not accessible, please use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (in short, please carry one around with you!).
4. General hygiene: Ensure to properly clean your door knobs, table surfaces, and home or office surfaces with alcohol-based wipes or soap and water regularly. Please do not go out wearing latex gloves as this can heighten carelessness due to false sense of protection and further aids the spread of the disease.